SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

July 05, 2012 08:20 ET

Biotech Companies -- Led by Amgen and Celgene -- Increase R&D Spending in 2011

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Amgen and Celgene

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 5, 2012) -  Stock markets rallied Tuesday after recent data showed factory orders in May increased for the first time in three months. The slight increase in factory orders came as a positive sign after a trade group earlier this week reported U.S. manufacturing in June contracted for the first time since the great recession ended. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) and Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG).

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The S&P 500 Index reached a two-month high Tuesday on the positive factory data and speculation that central banks around the globe will take action to help stimulate economic growth. To help with the region's debt crisis the European Central Bank is forecasted to cut interest rates later this week. According to Bloomberg Global Banking Group, BNP Paribas SA has stated that weak U.S. jobs data later this week may motivate the Federal Reserve to launch new stimulus measures.

"The factory orders report was a good surprise," said Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co., in a recent telephone interview. "Investors are also finding comfort in central bank action. The Fed has anticipated that they will do whatever it takes to not let the economy slip, China is doing the same and that the Europeans seem to be doing that too."

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Research and development spending by biotech companies in 2011, led by Amgen and Celgene, increased for the second consecutive year according to Ernst & Young. The firm's annual biotechnology report showed that R&D spending increased 9 percent last year after a 2 percent gain in 2010.

"Companies that were in deep cost-cutting mode in 2009 and cautiously optimistic in 2010 may have become somewhat more willing to loosen their purse strings in 2011," wrote Glen Giovannetti and Gautam Jaggi, the report authors. "The financial performance of publicly traded companies is more robust than at any time since the onset of the global financial crisis."

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